FLORIDA’S ST. PETERSBURG – A strong protest against Florida’s recently proposed gun legislation was held outside City Hall on Thursday by families who have lost loved ones to gun violence.
Joaquin Oliver’s parents traveled to St. Petersburg in their “Save Lives” school bus to participate in the protest that Prevents Gun Violence Florida and the League of Women Voters of the St. Petersburg Region planned.
“Since we lost Joaquin, we decided to move forward with action,” Patricia Oliver, Joaquin’s mother, told News Channel 8.
On the steps of City Hall, organizers positioned 30 body bags to symbolize victims of gun violence.
“I want to save your kid and your loved one’s life so they come home alive and not in a body bag,” Gail Schwartz, who died in the Parkland school shooting and lost her nephew Alex Schachter, said.
After the shooting rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Florida legislators increased the legal drinking age from 18 to 21. The purchase age has now been lowered to 18 under a bill that Florida House Republicans have sponsored.
“I think it’s disrespectful for us as the families,” Oliver said.
According to Florida Senate President Kathleen Passidomo (R-Naples), no legislation in the Senate has been filed to decrease the legal age to purchase long guns.
The groups fighting to stop gun violence oppose the Florida House and Senate legislation allowing people to carry concealed weapons without a license.
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According to Governor Ron DeSantis, gun owners shouldn’t require permission from the government to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
“We’re taking a monumental step toward codifying our Second Amendment rights,” State Senator Jay Collins (R-Tampa) said. “That is what we’re focused on. Bringing back those god-given constitutionally upheld rights to defend ourselves.”
Schwartz asserted that she thinks permitless carry would reduce safety in this state.
“It’s scary,” she said. “We’re going to have more shootings. We will have more Floridians settling disputes in grocery stores, movie theaters, and restaurants with gunfire.”
Patricia Gault is a seasoned journalist with years of experience in the industry. She has a passion for uncovering the truth and bringing important stories to light. Patricia has a sharp eye for detail and a talent for making complex issues accessible to a broad audience. Throughout her career, she has demonstrated a commitment to accuracy and impartiality, earning a reputation as a reliable and trusted source of news.